1st October 2010

YSL Belle D’Opium

By Get Lippie

Launched in what must be one of the prettiest bottles I’ve seen all year, Belle D’Opium is the latest fragrance from Yves St Laurent.

A “sister” scent to the original Opium, this is lighter, and designed – I guess – to be more of a complement to the current trend for the fruity-musky-woody stews that are all you can smell in modern fragrance these days.

Which is a shame.  I loved the original Opium, my father used to buy it for my mum by the bucket load (in massive duty-free flacons), and the heavy, heady, spicy oriental scent of carnations and smoke perfumes many of my memories.  Belle D’Opium has, sadly, about as much in common with the original Opium as I do with Cindy Crawford.

It starts off well, not too sweet, slightly dry and a bit flowery, but not overly so, and for the first 15 minutes or so it’s perfectly  … pleasant.  Inoffensive. No spices, no headiness, no intense desire to keep sniffing, and work out what the notes are, as you get with some perfumes, just … niceness. A little warmth, maybe, but it’s hard to tell how this is supposed to remind you of Opium at all, outside of the name.

Then, on my skin, it simply  … disappears.  Completely.  Totally.  Utterly. It disappears with such a total and abrupt thoroughness that upon occasion I’ve completely forgotten that I’d applied it in the first place and then an hour later I’ve applied something completely different. And, get this, when I have, the scents have never clashed, that’s how thorough a nothingness is left behind once the top notes wear off.

It’s a shame that such a beautiful bottle with such a historic name behind it smells so  … gone.

The Fine Print: This was a PR sample I wanted to love.  Sorry peeps!